The Legend of Shangri-La immediately caught our eye this month, mainly for the fact that ‘Cluster Pays’ is included in the title. The last time we played such a game was on Aloha Cluster Pays, and we concluded that while decent, there were a few elements of the game that prevented it from being truly enjoyable. Indeed, we even mentioned within that review that we knew that The Legend of Shangri-La was on the way and our main hope was already set as being taking the same kind of ideas and just making the game a lot more playable and, therefore, enjoyable. Of course, if you have already played Aloha Cluster Pays and enjoyed it, and want to see first-hand which direction NetEnt has taken the concept in, then you can go right ahead and play the game at one of the recommended mobile casino apps below. Alternatively, stick around to see if there has been a marked improvement.
What to Expect
The whole concept of Cluster Pays requires a fairly large game board, and The Legend of Shangri-La delivers from the off with six reels and five rows. Bet placement is as simple as ever, and we set about finding out if this game rectifies an issue that we had with the last one, that being that it just seemed a tad too difficult to cluster nine symbols together for consistent wins. As it turns out, nothing has changed. You still need nine, and we have to admit to being a little disappointed as it automatically makes The Legend of Shangri-La one of the slowest all pays slots out there.
There are at least various techniques in play to allow players to improve their chances, with some of the more valuable symbols like the tiger, elephant and monkey coming stacked two high as standard. There is a special symbol too, which takes on the role of something of a wild card without explicitly being one, as the green orbs can appear naturally or at random and will transform an adjacent symbol into whichever one leads to the best possible outcome as far as wins are concerned.
The panda that stands aside the board also has your best interests in mind to keep things flowing, and he may decide at random to trigger one of three additional features. It could see some of the current symbols being subbed off the board with better ones taking their place, or one symbol might be chosen to stick in place while respins play out, and they continue until no more symbols that match the sticky one appear. The third and final feature can only happen if you have two free spin symbols in view, as the panda will nudge the reels to bring a third into view, therefore triggering the bonus.
That bonus sees five, six, seven or eight free games being awarded for three, four, five or six in view. The substitution feature is in effect on every one of these spins, and they stay stuck until the end of the round unless the ice dragon chooses to get involved. You may go a whole round without seeing him, but if he does appear, he has the ability to blow some of your substitution symbols off the board.
The MobileCasino.net Verdict
The most pleasing aspect of The Legend of Shangri-La is that it is a definite improvement over Aloha Cluster Pays and demonstrates that NetEnt definitely has the potential to take the gaming style in the right direction. We have nothing against cluster wins in general and are happy to see such incremental improvements, although we think that this series needs a few more entries before it will have a chance of reaching must play territory. If you already like the cluster concept then you will enjoy The Legend of Shangri-La but we would be inclined to stick with something a bit more traditional while the kinks are ironed out.